About The Author

I am a licensed Palm Beach County Building Contractor. I am president and owner of a subcontracting company that specializes in shell construction of big custom homes. I pay Social Security, Medicare, unemployment tax, Workman's Comp, etc., etc., etc., on my employees.
I am having all my work stolen from me by a company named Middlemark Construction (not their real name). They are a subcontracting company that bids on everything in Palm Beach County, as well as other adjoining counties. They send their salesman to every builder in most of South Florida. It seems that Middlemark already has the best buying power for building materials in multiple counties. They top it off with a never ending list of "labor" subcontractors who pay 90% to 100% of their workers in "CASH", whether they are in our country legally or not (In other words, they even pay legal immigrants cash). They work their workers 10 to 12 hours a day for a set price per day. These workers work 50 to 60 hours a week with no overtime. We're talking $50 to $80 a day. These subcontractors can "illegally" employ two to three men at the same cost as my one "legal" employee. All of this can be done because these illegal subcontractors work under the umbrella of a seemingly legal subcontractor, such as Middlemark. How can legal companies compete?
Now I hear that there are more companies out there doing the same thing. They may be even using some of the same subcontractors. F & P Shell Contracting, BSBI, Hellko, Slowfame, etc., to name a few (not their real names, and there are a lot of smaller versions of these companies all over Florida). These "BIG" subcontracting companies are actually underbidding each other which is setting prices so low all over South Florida that they've been putting legitimate subcontracting companies out of business. This means American workers out of jobs. Both the legitimate subcontracting companies and the workers would be paying Social Security, Medicare, etc. These companies are also putting local suppliers, along with their employees, out of business. Most of which have been around for decades. One that I know of was around for over a century. Now it's gone-gone.
I am so frustrated, and so angry that anyone with the power to do something, WON'T DO ANYTHING!!! I've contacted Florida Division of Workman's Comp Compliance. They are always satisfied with certificates of insurance. They WILL NOT walk on jobs and check ID's and compare them with UTC-6's or monthly Workman's Comp audits. You would think that they were on Middlemarks' payroll. I've contacted our governor, Rick Scott's office, via e-mail. Of course, he's never seen it. I was answered by one of his cronies. He sent me a copy of some "new legislation" Scott had passed, that will most likely never be enforced. I sat down with a state attorney, who actually told me, that there isn't a lot she could do, if it is the subcontractors, not Middlemark, who are paying the workers cash.
One of my employee's just recently went to work with one of the labor subcontractors of Middlemark. He worked with them for approximately three weeks. He is back working with my company. He said that during those weeks, all of the workers were paid in "cash". This was over a dozen workers. The subcontracting company is owned by a Honduran citizen. This Honduran, an illegal business owner, boasts of forty or more workers scattered throughout South Florida, on multiple jobs. Florida Division of Workman's Comp was called to that very same residence that my employee was working on. They closed the file saying that Middlemark was "in compliance". They never walked the job while workers were working. They never checked one ID. They never looked into the lesser labor subcontracting company's federal tax employee or unemployment records to see if the workers were legal employees. What is wrong with this picture? The investigators of Florida Division of Workman's Comp Compliance work for us, the American taxpayers. Someone in our state government needs to take a serious look at these investigators and their job performance. They should probably be replaced with retired police detectives who are probably more experienced in the investigative field.
Well, I'm running out of work, losing my home, can't afford health insurance on my family or myself (I'm a single parent). This is a major drain on our local, as well as our national economy. Jobsites need to be shut down, with notice given to the owners, and the main contractors need to be dealt hefty fines to stop this illegal behavior, that would send a strong message. There are so many of us in South Florida, workers and subcontractors, who have talked amongst ourselves and don't know where to turn for help.


A los trabajadores hispanos de estas compañías

(To the hispanic workers of these companies)

De todos los trabajadores que yo he visto en los últimos 30 años en el campo de la construcción, los trabajadores hispanos son los que más se esfuerzan y que más ética tienen haciendo su labor. De hecho, la mayoría de mis trabajadores son hispanos y ellos son mis favoritos. El problema es que las compañías para las cuales muchos hispanos trabajan están haciendo algo completamente ilegal en nuestro país. Estas compañías están quitándoles trabajos a ciudadanos norteamericanos al no pagar lo que se suponen que estén pagando. Yo he escuchado historias de cómo algunos trabajadores hispanos trabajan por tres semanas sin recibir su paga y muchas veces nunca reciben su dinero porque están aquí ilegalmente y no pueden ir a quejarse por ese atropello ante las autoridades. Nosotros no estamos tratando de quitarles su trabajo; simplemente estamos tratando de que estas compañías sigan las reglas del juego para que sea justo para todos nosotros.